COVID-19 early warning solution for frontline staff developed with
expertise from ICT for Health at Tyndall.
The CREW device featured on the Claire Byrne Live show (Monday 18 May, 10.35pm RTÉ One TV) could be a part of “the new normal” as Ireland begins a slow easing of restrictions and a cautious re-opening of some businesses. The frontline temperature monitoring solution showcased was developed by 8 West Consulting with support from Tyndall National Institute, a leader in ICT for Health. With a quarter of all Coronavirus cases in Ireland diagnosed in healthcare workers, developers and researchers looked for ways to monitor frontline staff for a rise in body temperature, the most common symptom in cases of COVID-19.
The result is the COVID-19 Remote Early Warning System (CREW) remote temperature sensing device. “A wearable digital thermometer sensor is paired with an employee’s smartphone or smartwatch running the CREW app,” explained Dr Paul Galvin, Head of ICT for Health Strategic Programmes at Tyndall.
“Recorded body temperature readings are then automatically sent by the device to the CREW cloud-based monitoring platform developed by 8 West. If two subsequent elevated readings are noted, the central monitoring console triggers an alert for the staff coordinator.”
Employees who have elevated temperatures can then be advised to self-isolate, curtailing the potential spread of COVID-19 to other staff and to customers and patients.
“We are thrilled that Tyndall’s expertise with wearable technologies has helped bring CREW to frontline healthcare workers,” commented William Scanlon, CEO of Tyndall National Institute.
“While the system is still being tested in clinical settings, this is an outstanding example of what the ‘next normal’ may look like more widely in both healthcare and general workplaces.”
The armpit temperature sensor is already approved as a medical device, dramatically shortening the time to market for the CREW system. Feedback from current trials is very positive, with remote temperatures taken via the CREW system showing a high degree of accuracy and precision when compared with in-ear temperature measurement. The full team, consisting of 8 West, Tyndall, the ASSERT Centre at UCC, and Cork University Hospital, hope that CREW will be ready to roll out nationally in just a few weeks, enabling employees to return to work safely through remote monitoring of COVID-related symptoms.